As it happened: Obama's State of the Union address

Key Points

  • President Barack Obama has delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and a television audience of millions
  • Mr Obama pledged to bypass the fractured Congress to address economic inequality
  • Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Lee and Rand Paul offered responses
  • All times Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5)
  1.  
    20:01:

    Welcome to the BBC's live online coverage for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, where the US president will report to the Congress - and to the American people.

     
  2.  
    20:05:

    According to advance excerpts of the speech released by the White House, Mr Obama will call for "a year of action" to address the growing economic inequality in the US.

    "That's what most Americans want - for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations."

     
  3.  
    20:08:

    Mr Obama will promise "concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class".

    "Some require Congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."

     
  4.  
    20:10:

    Whatever he promises this evening, what can Mr Obama do without the co-operation of Republicans in Congress? Not much, Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and governor of Vermont, tells the BBC's Katty Kay.

    "The president is out of options" legislatively. "But he does have bully pulpit."

     
  5.  
    20:13:

    Mr Obama is talking, but is anybody listening? Over on our Echo Chambers blog, Anthony Zurcher notes Americans may suffer State of the Union fatigue: "The modern State of the Union address, arriving in the doldrums of winter, usually has all the interest and excitement of an annual performance review."

     
  6.  
    20:17:

    Mr Obama gives the speech in the chamber of the House of Representatives with members of Congress and the presidential cabinet in attendance. Seated behind Mr Obama will be Vice-President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican.

     
  7.  
    20:19: Ashley Semler

    sends this picture from the US Capitol's Statuary Hall:

    Capitol Statuary Hall
     
  8.  
    20:20:

    The big set-piece State of the Union address is a recent tradition. The US constitution requires the US president to deliver a message to Congress on the state of the union "from time to time" - but there's nothing to say it can't be in writing. In fact, for about 100 years, that's exactly what presidents did. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson undid a tradition begun with Thomas Jefferson and spoke in front of a joint session of Congress.

     
  9.  
    20:22:

    Guests invited by the White House to observe the State of the Union address from the House gallery signal some of the themes of the speech - and the political priorities of the president.

     
  10.  
    20:22:

    Among those joining First Lady Michelle Obama in the gallery this evening will be Jason Collins, a professional basketball player who came out as gay last year, two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, and the fire chief of a tornado-hit Oklahoma town.

     
  11.  
    20:23: @BBCNewsUS

    tweets: "Here are our own @NickBryantNY & @BBCBarbaraPlett getting ready for a long night on the Hill covering #SOTU"

    Nick Bryant and Barbara Plett
     
  12.  
    20:25: Anthony Zurcher Editor, Echo Chambers

    Three Supreme Court, all Republican appointees, will not be attending the State of the Union.

     
  13.  
    20:26:

    Though the president has not yet begun to speak, the Republican reaction has already begun. Congressman Paul Ryan, who ran for vice-president in 2012, says the speech "sounds to me like he wants to go around the Constitution".

    "If you want to write a law, the elected representatives here in House and Senate, the legislative branch they write the laws. Presidents don't write laws."

     
  14.  
    20:29:

    The BBC's Katty Kay analyses what the US president can do when many in Washington are already focusing more on who will replace him than on what he's got planned for the rest of his tenure. Watch for the House of Cards references.

     
  15.  
    20:32:

    The president is not the only one who gets to invite guests. Among those seated in the gallery as guests of Republican and Democrat legislators tonight are the father of Navy Seal killed at Benghazi, a New Jersey mayor at the centre of a scandal involving Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an unemployed worker, people who have been helped or hindered by the president's healthcare law and yes, a member of the Duck Dynasty reality show, whom Louisiana Republican Vance McAllister says will bring "some diversity to our nation's Capitol".

     
  16.  
    20:32:

    Mr Obama has promised to go around a fractured Congress when possible. BBC Mundo's Thomas Sparrow spoke to Elaine Kamarck, a public policy lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government, about what executive orders can and can't do.

    Ms Kamarck says such actions are a "very limited power of the president".

    "Anything meaningful probably can't be done by executive order unless Congress acquiesces. You couldn't do immigration reform by executive order."

     
  17.  
    20:37:

    The White House has designated Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz as the sole cabinet officer to be absent from the State of the Union. Often known as the "designated survivor", one cabinet member is asked to stay back in case of true catastrophe at the Capitol. The Washington Post has a video interviewing previous designated survivors and their experiences on the big night.

     
  18.  
    20:38:

    The armoured presidential limousine, known as "the beast", has departed the White House and is rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill.

     
  19.  
    20:40: Echo Chambers blog editor Anthony Zurcher

    tweets: "Everyone who picked Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz as the designated Cabinet officer in a bunker wins a prize. #SOTU"

     
  20.  
    20:41:

    More from Howard Dean speaking to Katty Kay earlier: The US is recovering economically but "most of the benefits are going to the top 20%".

     
  21.  
    20:41:

    Governor Dean tells Katty Kay that Mr Obama's ability to change the course of the country is limited, while change in other areas - including growing acceptance of gay marriage and increased abortion restrictions - are being driven by outside of Washington".

     
  22.  
    20:43:

    Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus says Mr Obama is "acting like a child" in his pledge to work around Congress.

     
  23.  
    20:44: Erick Erickson of the Red State blog

    tweets: The President couldn't get any of his 2011, 2012, or 2013 SOTU items passed. Why even bother watching him roll out this list?

     
  24.  
    20:46:

    The president will make economic inequality a central theme of his State of the Union address. What do Americans think? In our new series Face Facts, the BBC's David Botti breaks down the numbers to see how the US compares to the rest of the world - and shows how Americans are divided over what to do about it.

     
  25.  
    20:52:

    Many congressmen, senators and other dignitaries have entered the House chamber. Vice-President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have mounted the dais - they'll sit directly behind the president.

     
  26.  
    20:52:
    Joe Biden and John Boehner 28 January 2014

    Mr Biden (left) cheerfully shook House Speaker John Boehner's hand. The two men then adjusted one another's ties.

     
  27.  
    20:56:

    Willie Robertson, star of the Duck Dynasty reality TV show, is a guest of a Louisiana congressman. A few weeks ago his father came under fire for comments deemed racist and homophobic. Mr Robertson may be the only man in the chamber without a tie.

    Duck Dynasty television show star Willie Robertson waves as he sits with his wife Korie (L) in the visitor's gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives before the start of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington 28 January 2014
     
  28.  
    21:01:

    Who is this speech for? Thomasina Reed, a struggling Washington DC resident told the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan Mr Obama should "do a little bit more for the ones that are really reaching out for you because we're the ones that really need you".

     
  29.  
    21:02:

    The Supreme Court justices and First Lady Michelle Obama have entered the chamber.

     
  30.  
    21:06:

    Mr Obama's cabinet officials and senior aides are entering the House chamber. There's Susan Rice, his national security adviser, and Samantha Power, his Pulitzer Prize-winning ambassador to the UN.

     
  31.  
    21:07:

    Got questions about the speech, the presidency, or Washington politics? Tweet them to us at @BBCNewsUS and we will do our best to answer them in this space.

     
  32.  
    21:10:

    Here comes the president.

     
  33.  
    21:11:

    He'll spend the next few minutes shaking hands and embracing supporters - and anyone who can reach him through the crowd.

     
  34.  
    21:13:

    Former AP White House correspondent Ben Feller tells Katty Kay on our live coverage on BBC World News that one can see the passage of time in Mr Obama's face. He says one gets the clear sense watching tonight that Mr Obama's presidency is slowly nearing its end.

     
  35.  
    21:14:

    He's introduced by House Speaker John Boehner. And thus, Mr Obama's fifth State of the Union address begins.

     
  36.  
    21:16:

    Mr Obama opens describing Americans who are doing their job to make the country a better place: a teacher spending extra time with a student, an entrepreneur creating jobs at a tech start-up, military members coming home to their families, an auto worker, and more.

     
  37.  
    21:16:

    After 12 long years, the War in Afghanistan is finally coming to an end, Mr Obama says.

     
  38.  
    21:17:

    "Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent," Mr Obama says. "It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong."

     
  39.  
    21:18:

    The results of all that hard work, according to Mr Obama: The lowest unemployment rate in more than five years, a rebounding housing market, a growing manufacturing sector, and net exports of oil.

     
  40.  
    21:18:

    Obama says the US government budget deficit has been cut in half on his watch, and, "for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world's number one place to invest; America is."

     
  41.  
    21:18:

    "That's why I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America," Mr Obama says. "After five years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better-positioned for the 21st Century than any other nation on Earth."

     
  42.  
    21:19:

    Mr Obama asks Congress: "Will you help or hinder that progress?"

     
  43.  
    21:19:

    Mr Obama turns to the past few years of partisan bickering and gridlock, saying Washington has been "consumed by rancorous argument over the proper size of the federal government".

    "It's an important debate - one that dates back to our very founding. But when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy... then we are not doing right by the American people."

     
  44.  
    21:21:

    Now, having just passed a budget, Congress must create new jobs - not new crises, Mr Obama says. That's a reference to the budget battles that have crippled politics in Congress several times in recent years.

     
  45.  
    21:21:

    "Let's make this a year of action," Mr Obama says. That is what most Americans want, he says.

     
  46.  
    21:22:

    The US president now moving into the main theme of tonight's speech - the US economy is recovering, but its gains have not been distributed evenly. While those at the top have "never done better", inequality has deepened and upward mobility has stalled.

    "The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by - let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all."

     
  47.  
    21:22:

    Mr Obama now declares it is the job of the US government is to reverse the trends of inequality. That's a controversial statement in Washington.

     
  48.  
    21:23:

    "It won't happen right away, and we won't agree on everything," Mr Obama says. "But what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class."

     
  49.  
    21:24:

    Now Mr Obama pledges to take unilateral action if Congress won't move on his agenda. "Some require Congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."

     
  50.  
    21:24:

    "America does not stand still," Mr Obama says. "And neither will I."

     
  51.  
    21:25:

    "There are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments, and are moving this country forward," he says. "They believe, and I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams."

     
  52.  
    21:26:

    Mr Obama hails America as a land of opportunity, where the daughter of a factory worker can rise to run General Motors - that's a reference to Mary Barra.

     
  53.  
    21:27:

    And in a magnanimous gesture to a bitter political rival, Mr Obama hails House Speaker John Boehner - "the son of a barkeep".

     
  54.  
    21:28:

    Then, Mr Obama offers himself as an example of what's possible in America: "The son of a single mom can be president of the greatest nation on Earth."

     
  55.  
    21:28:

    Moving back to the grit of Washington politics, the US president says part of improving the economy is creating new jobs.

     
  56.  
    21:29:

    "Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad," he says. "Let's flip that equation. Let's work together to close those loopholes, end those incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home."

     
  57.  
    21:29:

    Those tax savings can help upgrade America's infrastructure, Mr Obama says.

     
  58.  
    21:30:

    Mr Obama touts his own administration's "high-tech manufacturing" hubs - two launched last year - and announces six more of these partnerships in the next year.

     
  59.  
    21:30:
    President Barack Obama

    Mr Obama gives a wave to the crowd

     
  60.  
    21:31:

    The US president reminds the audience that federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smart phones.

     
  61.  
    21:32:

    Moving to energy, Mr Obama argues his "all-of-the-above" strategy of promoting renewable energy use while also encouraging development of fossil fuels such as coal and oil is working. "Today, America is closer to energy independence than we've been in decades."

     
  62.  
    21:33:

    Mr Obama says more can be done to strength solar energy. He argues for a tax policy that "stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do".

     
  63.  
    21:34: Democratic strategist Paul Begala

    tweets: Starting with vignettes = good. Stories beat statistics.

     
  64.  
    21:35: Former Bush aide Ari Fleischer

    tweets: If Pres O knew how the government could "create more jobs", wouldn't he have done so 5 years ago? Empty rhetoric.

     
  65.  
    21:36:

    Mr Obama moves on to another top priority of his for the rest of his tenure - and one on which he may see some congressional action: immigration reform.

     
  66.  
    21:36: Brian Beutler of Salon

    tweets: John Boehner appears to have placed a futuristic nicotine delivery system in front of himself

     
  67.  
    21:38:

    Mr Obama returns to personal stories to describe plans - first is a vehicle parts firm owner from Detroit that used a US jobs programme to train workers.

     
  68.  
    21:41:

    Mr Obama calls on Congress to restore long-term unemployment insurance. It expired in December and a Democratic-sponsored bill to restore it has not seen any movement - the Republicans wanted cuts elsewhere in the budget to offset it.

     
  69.  
    21:42:

    Now he moves on to education: "It's not enough to train today's workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow's workforce, by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education."

     
  70.  
    21:42: Reason Magazine Nick Gillespie

    tweets: Tough choices = more spending AND more taxes #SOTU

     
  71.  
    21:43:

    Mr Obama touts the Race to the Top education programme, but says education reform is not reaching enough children and not early enough.

     
  72.  
    21:44:

    Mr Obama makes a repeat request to Congress: fund early education for all students. "But in the meantime, 30 states have raised [early childhood] funding on their own. They know we can't wait."

     
  73.  
    21:46:

    Mr Obama is bringing up things Congress can - but is unlikely to do - and then describe what he will do while he waits.

     
  74.  
    21:46: Republican strategist Karl Rove

    tweets: "What evidence does POTUS have that CEOs are deliberately NOT giving long term unemployed a fair shot at new jobs?"

     
  75.  
    21:48:

    Now Mr Obama turns to the wage gap between men and women, noting that across the US economy as a whole, women still earn 77 cents for every dollar a earns, for equal work.

     
  76.  
    21:48:

    "That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work," he says.

     
  77.  
    21:49:

    "It's time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode." He receives one of his strongest applauses of the night.

     
  78.  
    21:50:

    Mr Obama is asking business leaders to raise their employee's wages - arguing it will boost productive and reduce turnover. "You don't have to wait for Congress," he says.

     
  79.  
    21:51:

    He says intends to lead by example. In one of the biggest policy announcements of the night - and one trailed on Tuesday morning - Mr Obama says he will unilaterally raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 (£6.09) an hour.

     
  80.  
    21:52:

    The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. "If you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," Mr Obama says. "Give America a raise."

     
  81.  
    21:52: NBC's Mike O'Brien

    tweets: "How potent of an issue is minimum wage? The #SOTU tweets per minute just *skyrocketed* well above avg levels in this part of the speech."

     
  82.  
    21:55:

    Mr Obama is moving onto healthcare. His Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, has been the signature legislation of his presidency.

     
  83.  
    21:56:

    The botched rollout this past autumn of some of the law's central pieces has seriously hurt his approval ratings. So his task right now is to remind Americans of all it purports to offer them.

     
  84.  
    21:56:

    He tells the story of a woman who gained coverage under the "Obamacare" law - and a week later needed emergency surgery.

     
  85.  
    21:57:

    "That's what health insurance reform is all about," he says. "The peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don't have to lose everything."

     
  86.  
    21:59:

    Mr Obama's healthcare policy hit a rough patch last year after the website that prospective customers were to use to sign up for insurance hit technical problems. This part of the speech is a defence and an attempted inoculation against further Republican attempts to defund the programme.

     
  87.  
    22:00:

    Mr Obama wants his audience to help get people signed up for health insurance under the law. He's urging mothers to "get on your kids to sign up", and urges, "Kids, call your mom and walk her through the application".

     
  88.  
    22:02:

    Mr Obama holds out Kentucky as an Affordable Care Act success story.

     
  89.  
    22:02:

    The BBC's Mark Mardell visited Kentucky last year to see how Obamacare was being received in the state.

     
  90.  
    22:02: Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall

    writes: "Presidents are always snappy during SOTUs. But Obama seems particularly pumped and forceful."

     
  91.  
    22:03:

    He's turning now to Afghanistan. "America's longest war will finally be over," Mr Obama says.

     
  92.  
    22:03:

    He thanks US military members for their service. "After 2014, we will support a unified Afghanistan as it takes responsibility for its own future."

     
  93.  
    22:04:

    More foreign policy: "In Syria, we'll support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks."

     
  94.  
    22:04: Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau

    tweets: "For all the length complainers: the word count on this will clock in as one of Obama's shortest and shorter than all of Clinton's"

     
  95.  
    22:06:

    Mr Obama says he will always defend the US, but says he will not "allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts".

     
  96.  
    22:06:

    "We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us - large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism," Mr Obama says.

     
  97.  
    22:07:

    2014 is the year the US will close Guantanamo Bay, Mr Obama says. Mr Obama pledged virtually the moment he took office in 2009 to close the prison there - but Congress blocked him.

     
  98.  
    22:09:

    The BBC's Tara McKelvey has looked into who is left at Guantanamo, and how it may be closed.

     
  99.  
    22:12:

    Mr Obama is moving onto Iran now: He says US diplomacy has brought Iran to the negotiation table and prevented it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But he says the US is "clear-eyed" about Iran's connection to Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah, which he describes as a terrorist organisation.

     
  100.  
    22:12:

    But he promises to veto any new sanctions against Iran that Congress should pass: "For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed."

     
  101.  
    22:14:

    Mr Obama's State of the Union address last year came just weeks after the massacre of 20 children and six staff at a primary school in Connecticut, and included several gun control proposals.

     
  102.  
    22:14:

    Just one paragraph this year, concluding: "I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theatres, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook."

     
  103.  
    22:15: The New Republic's Noam Scheiber

    tweets: "Wait, that's it on gun control? Embarrassingly feeble."

     
  104.  
    22:15:

    A passing mention of the current opposition movement in Ukraine: "In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and have a say in their country's future."

     
  105.  
    22:16:
    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on 28 January 2014

    Here's a view of Mr Obama's live audience

     
  106.  
    22:17:
    First lady Michelle Obama (R) stands with US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg

    Mr Obama is now honouring Ranger Sgt First Class Cory Remsburg, almost killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

     
  107.  
    22:18:

    "Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit," Mr Obama says. A long stretch of applause now, and a standing ovation for Sgt Remsburg.

     
  108.  
    22:18: Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News

    tweets: "He should read this drone and NSA part of the speech really, really fast like the disclaimers in those auto dealer ads."

     
  109.  
    22:19:

    "Men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy," Mr Obama says. "Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged."

     
  110.  
    22:19:

    Mr Obama's starting to wrap it up now. You can tell because his rhetoric is becoming more florid.

     
  111.  
    22:20:

    "If we work together; if we summon what is best in us, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow - I know it's within our reach."

     
  112.  
    22:20:

    "Believe it," Mr Obama says.

     
  113.  
    22:21:

    And he concludes with the traditional ending: "God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."

     
  114.  
    22:25:

    Mr Obama is finished for the evening and walking out of the chamber, signing autographs and shaking hands as he goes.

     
  115.  
    22:26:

    Stay tuned. Our live coverage continues now with the Republican response.

     
  116.  
    22:26:

    We'll hear soon from Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a congresswoman from Washington State; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a probable 2016 presidential candidate; and Utah Senator Mike Lee, giving the response from the tea party movement.

     
  117.  
    22:28: Stephen Hayes of the conservative Weekly Standard

    tweets: The Cory Remsburg story is easily the highlight of the #SOTU. Good that Pres Obama recognized him and his many sacrifices.

     
  118.  
    22:31:

    BBC Chief Economic Correspondent Linda Yueh says one of the more interesting proposals is "myRA" - a savings bonds intended for retirement saving - but there's little detail as of yet.

     
  119.  
    22:32:

    Here's Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican of Washington State.

     
  120.  
    22:33:

    Ms Rodgers says the most important things in America are not happening in Washington - they're happening in your home.

     
  121.  
    22:34:

    She says she'll offer a "hopeful" Republican vision -"one that empowers you, not the government".

     
  122.  
    22:34:

    "Tonight the president made more promises that sound good," she says, but won't make anything happen.

     
  123.  
    22:36:

    Ms Rodgers is talking about her children, including her eldest son, who has Downs Syndrome.

     
  124.  
    22:37:

    "We are not defined by our limits, but by our potential," Ms Rodgers says.

     
  125.  
    22:39:

    "The president talks a lot about income inequality," Ms Rodgers says, but the real gap is the "opportunity gap". She says more Americans stopped looking for a job last month than found one, but doesn't say that many of the people who dropped out of the workforce were baby-boomers entering their retirement.

     
  126.  
    22:39:

    Ms Rodgers brings up immigration reform. She says Republicans are taking it step by step - securing borders first.

     
  127.  
    22:42:

    Ms Rodgers begins an extended criticism of the president's healthcare overhaul, which has been at the centre of the Republican opposition in recent years. She says she received a letter from a woman whose insurance premium went up $700 after Mr Obama's healthcare law went into effect.

     
  128.  
    22:42:

    Ms Rodgers says Obama's health insurance law "isn't working", then offers "a prayer" to the American people. And she's finished.

     
  129.  
    22:44:

    Here comes Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, for the response from the conservative, populist, anti-tax, tea party movement.

     
  130.  
    22:45:

    Here goes Mr Lee. The speech is not being carried on CNN or MSNBC. Fox News, the go-to network for conservatives, is running an advert right now.

     
  131.  
    22:46:

    Mr Lee says he'd "like to speak Americans who feel like they have been left behind by both parties".

     
  132.  
    22:47:

    A history lesson from Mr Lee - he's talking about the original Boston tea party.

     
  133.  
    22:47:

    Americans have a natural instinct to protest "dysfunctional government", Mr Lee says.

     
  134.  
    22:48:

    He says Mr Obama has "Washington-centric" policies.

     
  135.  
    22:50:

    Responding to Mr Obama's remarks on economic inequality: "Where does this new inequality come from? From government."

     
  136.  
    22:50:

    But Mr Lee says the Republican establishment is also partly to blame but Mr Obama has trapped poor people with government programmes.

     
  137.  
    22:50:

    Americans have "had it" with our out-of-touch government, Mr Lee says.

     
  138.  
    22:52:

    "Together we can march forward" and take the road that leads to the kind of government we want, Mr Lee says.

     
  139.  
    22:54: New York Times writer Charles Blow

    tweets (in response to Ms Rodgers speech): "That was a Splenda response. Zero calories sweetness with zero policy content."

     
  140.  
    22:54:

    Mr Lee says "Obamacare" gives too much power to government. He says the Republicans must offer their own proposals. He's not going into much detail about what's to be in them.

     
  141.  
    22:55:

    Mr Lee keeps referring back to the 18th Century of America's founding.

     
  142.  
    22:55:

    "Join us, on the road to a more prosperous America," Mr Lee says, wrapping it up. "Thank you very much for your time, good luck, and God bless."

     
  143.  
    22:58: Time Magazine's Zeke Miller

    tweets in response to Ms Rodgers's speech: "Very likely the best GOP response of the Obama presidency."

     
  144.  
    23:06:

    Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Republican senator from Kentucky seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2016, uploaded his response directly to YouTube.

     
  145.  
    23:06: The Atlantic's Matt O'Brien

    tweets: 15 seconds in, and Rand Paul is already saying crazy things. The problems Reagan faced were the opposite of the ones we do now, not the same

     
  146.  
    23:13:

    Mr Paul says government is not very good at creating jobs. "It's not government is inherently stupid - although that is a debatable point". But he says government doesn't respond the same way to how businesses are created.

     
  147.  
    23:20:

    "Where are the jobs?" Mr Paul asks Mr Obama, arguing the "ticket to the middle classes is not higher taxes" on companies that create jobs.

     
  148.  
    23:20:

    It's worth noting here that the US unemployment rate stands at 6.7%, the lowest since October 2008.

     
  149.  
    23:21:

    The Kentucky senator proposes "economic freedom zones" where taxes are a flat 5%.

     
  150.  
    23:27:

    That's it for our live page coverage of the State of Union this evening. Thanks for following along. We will have continuing coverage and reaction of the speech from our correspondents on our website.

     

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